In one display (we think 2013) Tristan was driving Popcorn in the milk float. The boys looked great in the display! Tristan is never one to hang about so was the first one back at the stables. Now the first thing to do when we get back is to tie up the donkeys, unhitch them from the vehicle, take all harness off and set neatly aside, donkey put in stable with fresh food and drink. Instead of this, Tristan left Popcorn standing to go get changed himself… now our donkeys stand very well - but not that well! Popcorn took this opportunity to visit the rest of the stables with the milk float still attached! Luckily no one was hurt (apart from Tristan when mum got hold of him) and Tristan never forgot to unhitch the donkeys again.
We’re normally the first to arrive in the morning and the last to leave at night - apart from needing all this time to look after all the donkeys, it also gives us the opportunity to use the lunging arena. We used the lunging arena with Meg in 2017 - the year Becky was riding her in the display. It was very funny to see people walk past and have to do a double take - no horse has ears that long! Meg more than held her own against all the international horses at her first Balmoral and it was amazing to see how we can change people’s opinions on donkeys. Meg is such a graceful and intelligent donkey that she debased all stereotypes. One of the main reasons we do displays such as these are to show donkeys in a respectful manner and for everyone to see what they are truly capable of. Now we hope this story doesn’t end with any arrests…
Even though our displays are not a competition we still have rosettes for every exhibitor. We always like to get a special guest to hand out these rosettes - we often get the President of the RUAS to drop by! A couple of years ago, mum wanted a showjumper to come give out the rosettes. She helps out at Eventing Ireland for many years now and so knows quite a lot of the riders. She somehow managed to track down the phone number of the one and only Greg Boderick… Whom she then proceeded to call the morning after his big win. Having just woken up, poor Greg didn’t realise what he had let himself in for. We think he ended up enjoying it all the same, he hasn’t pressed charges yet anyway.
When the date for Harry and Meghan’s Royal Wedding was announced, Amanda and Valerie knew there must be some sort of mistake. It was scheduled for 19th May 2018… better known as the last day of Balmoral that year. How could they have planned their wedding on a day that was already so important! It was no mistake and now we had to fit a wedding in a day that was already so busy. The member’s pavilion were showing it on the TV’s in there so at least we had somewhere to watch it! It was fantastic - they had themed drinks, snacks and decorations that rival even Amanda’s. The only issue was trying to co-ordinate both Amanda’s and Valerie’s schedules but they weren’t going to miss such a big day. The panic and planning were all worth it as we got to sit and enjoy a beautiful wedding with a glass of Pimms.